So, you want to row? Then get pedalling!

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw from the source text)

There is a tight link between rowing and cycling. They look very different but they both teach us many things, if you have the right attitude and an open mind. Both boat and bike will help you learn about balance, effort and freedom.

Jose 1José Casiraghi pedalling

This is why the majority of rowers, from those like José Miguel Casiraghi in the Italian national squad, to the most average enthusiast (like me!), often use the bike as training. It isn’t just because it’s good for your quads. We learn how to live sitting on a sliding seat or saddle, one metre at a time. Because these sports have forever been Continue reading


RowInTeam: strength in unity

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw from the source text)

Unity creates strength. Is that really the case? Often individual personalities are not that obvious when they are part of a group. But just being in together is not enough – the group has to become a team.

Verzotti LaPadula

Edoardo Verzotti (left) and Livio La Padula

In a nutshell, this is the most critical thing that rowing teaches. And rowing is perhaps the only true team sport left. Not because each individual’s identity disappears just like that, but more because when you are in the same boat (quite literally) they have less importance.

Strength in unity

This philosophy has been moulded Continue reading

Impressions of rowing – what does each boat type feel like?

by Mario Scalella (translated by Gillian Shaw) (source text)

There are many similarities between rowing boats. Clearly, their weights and dimensions change depending on the number of rowers and seats in each one. The motion of the body too differs largely between sculling (two oars per person) and sweep (one oar per rower), but to the uneducated eye they appear quite similar. However, this is not the case.


Sweep oar boat par excellence – the eight is the only one with a coxswain and is the longest and fastest of all the categories. It demands light, rapid movements particularly Continue reading

Alex Bellini: “Motivation is a cheat”

by Giuseppe Lamanna (translated by Gillian Shaw) (source text)

We live on a planet we call Earth, even though 3/4 of it is covered by water. There have been more men to walk on the moon than who have rowed across an ocean. Alex Bellini has never been to outer space, but he has rowed across the Pacific. Twice.


Alex Bellini

I’m only jealous of this guy because his profession on his ID card reads: explorer. Whereas I am just a journalist, who rows. Or at the very most, a rower who writes. But because of my job, I met him and asked for his help to find the right motivation, with the aim of spending more hours rowing than in front of the TV. It’s a pity he took the wind out of my sails, telling me not to believe in motivation. Because motivation is a cheat. Continue reading

Now it’s September, what next?

by Davide Petucco translated by Gillian Shaw (source text)

imagesSeptember’s the month when everything starts again: we get back to our usual work schedule, kids go back to school, football starts again, even the winter TV schedule begins…

Ever since I was a child, I’ve always lived September as if it were a magical month, full of promise, the right time to start something new.

Now, as a cyclist, September represents a ‘middle ground’.

Weather conditions are Continue reading

Mario Palmisano: “Sweep to victory!”

by Mario Palmisano and translated by Gillian Shaw (original article)

Rowing a sport made up of choices. But most of the time it won’t be you who’ll make them – it’ll be your coach. One of these, and possibly the most important, is whether you choose to row sweep oar or to scull.

boat classes

Usually your coach will decide this based on what the squad needs or which boats are available.  It can also be down to his/her personal choice. For example, sweep oar was my coach Aldo Calì’s preference, even though he had won in the 2x with Davide Tizzano.

Sweep to victory! Continue reading


by Giacomo Pellizzari, translated by Gillian Shaw (original article)

The Stelvio – who is that?
Of course, now that Alfa Romeo has named a car after it, everyone knows what ‘The Stelvio’ is. A bewitching mountain with all the required ingredients to strike terror and to make history. A kind of pagan temple shrouded between the clouds of Mount Ortler and the glaciers of Monte Cevedale.  An impossible dream, a surfaced route that goes straight from Austria to Italy. From Vienna, down to Milan. A non-stop road, that takes the most direct course. But before that, who knew what the Stelvio was?stelvio
It took an Italian engineer – the best there was – to build this road at the behest of Emperor Franz I. The Austrians would only have the best, after all. His name was Carlo, Continue reading